We are committed to lowering our direct and indirect emissions across our businesses and are guided by a set of medium-term targets. The approach to these goals follows the hierarchy of avoiding emissions, reducing emissions through efficiency, replacing high-carbon fuels with low-carbon alternatives and then using high-quality offsets for our remaining emissions. "High-quality" is defined by a strict set of criteria and standards, including that the offset projects are real, transparent, measurable and provide additional emissions reductions beyond those that may have been realized in the ordinary course of business.

Our environmental measurement is conducted in accordance with principles outlined in the World Resource Institute's GHG Protocol. Unless otherwise noted, the emissions, electricity and waste information is based on our parks and resorts, owned and leased office spaces, cruise ships, retail outlets, restaurants, and radio and television stations. In 2010, we transitioned our measurement from an annual to a quarterly data inventory process for emissions, electricity and waste. This process allows us to better manage our progress throughout the year.

In fiscal year 2010, direct greenhouse gas emissions were 4.6% below the 2006 level. Electricity consumption was 6.6% below the 2006 level. To make additional progress toward our long-term goal, our investment in forestry projects in 2009 and 2010 will begin providing offset credits in fiscal year 2012.

Chart 08: Progress toward Direct Emissions Target

Chart 09: Progress toward Indirect Emissions Target

Climate Solutions Fund

To achieve our long-term goal of "zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions," the Company strives to reduce direct emissions and invest in high-quality carbon offset projects. The costs of the carbon offset projects are charged back to individual business units at a rate proportional to their contribution to the Company's overall direct emissions footprint. Thus, our businesses are now exposed to an internal carbon price. The "Climate Solutions Fund" is the name given to the Company's internal carbon pricing program.

Since 2009, the Company has invested $15.5 million in offset projects globally, including:

  • $7 million for forest conservation in Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in collaboration with Conservation International
  • $2 million for reforestation in the lower Mississippi Valley, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy
  • $1 million for improved forest management in Northern California, in collaboration with The Conservation Fund
  • $2 million for a reforestation project in Inner Mongolia, China, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (visit the feature story for more on this investment)
  • $3.5 million for purchases of carbon credits from industrial projects around the world, such as landfill gas capture and destruction, refrigerant gas destruction, and wastewater treatment

All offset purchases must meet credible standards such as those established by the Climate Action Reserve, the Voluntary Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard. The forestry projects are designed to start delivering reductions in 2012 and onward.

Parks & Resorts

Our theme parks and resorts and Cruise Line operations are the Company's most significant source of emissions. Our resorts have made strides to conserve energy through a mix of technical and operational enhancements. Throughout our parks and resorts, we have implemented energy management systems and scorecards; replaced old lighting and fixtures with more energy-efficient alternatives; and increased efficiency of chillers, heat exchanges, airhandlers and pumps through technology enhancements and controls.

Additional examples from our parks and resorts include:

  • Disney Cruise Line ships now have an innovative, non-toxic hull coating which reduces drag and increases fuel efficiency
  • Disneyland Resort installed a Thermal Energy Storage Tank to hold water that is chilled overnight which is more efficient and reduces overall energy consumption. This chilled water is used the following day to cool buildings both onstage and backstage
  • Walt Disney World made significant advances in reducing electricity consumption by continuing to switch to energy-efficient lighting in many of our theme park shows, attractions and merchandise locations
  • Disneyland Paris is equipped with energy consumption screens in several restaurant kitchens that enable monitoring of consumption during operations
  • Hong Kong Disneyland is optimizing show effects in Adventureland, including making adjustments to the flame and steam effects on the Jungle River Cruise

Motion Picture Production and Events

Each Walt Disney Studios motion picture has at least one full-time Environmental Steward who works to improve the environmental footprint of the production. The Steward coordinates with location, production, catering, and cost services teams to incorporate environmental considerations in filming. The Steward encourages the crew to minimize their environmental impact during filming by taking actions such as using refillable water bottles, recycling empty containers, using compostable flatware, and minimizing waste. For more information on our Environmental Stewards, visit the feature story.

Walt Disney Studios joined forces with other major studios in 2010 to develop two resources to advance sustainability within the film and television production industry.

  • The Green Production Guide enables film and television professionals to assess the environmental impact of production. The guide was created by the Producers Guild of America Foundation and PGA Green, in alliance with Disney and several other major movie studios. It provides an online searchable database of green products and resources. The database includes more than 1,100 vendors ranging from caterers who use biodegradable products to retailers that offer FSC-certified lumber and low VOC paints.
  • A standardized Carbon Calculator is now available for free download by production companies. The Carbon Calculator can help guide the measurement of greenhouse gases for all movie and television productions.
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